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Insulin maker Eli Lilly introducing cheaper version

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Eli Lilly announced a new lower-cost insulin product that will be available in pharmacies soon after facing pressure from Congress about the price of Humalog. Photo by Tesa Photography/Pixabay
Eli Lilly announced a new lower-cost insulin product that will be available in pharmacies soon after facing pressure from Congress about the price of Humalog. Photo by Tesa Photography/Pixabay

March 4 (UPI) -- Drug maker Eli Lilly announced a lower-priced insulin for patients who use Humalog.

The new drug called Insulin Lispro will retail for $137.35 for a single vial or $265.20 for a five-park of KwikPens. The product has been manufactured and will be delivered to pharmacies as soon as possible, the company announced Monday.

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Eli Lilly typically issues rebates on its products but those "do not directly benefit all patients." Insurance companies don't always pass rebates on to consumers.

"While this change is a step in the right direction, all of us in the healthcare community must do more to fix the problem of high out-of-pocket costs for Americans living with chronic conditions," Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said in a statement. "We hope our announcement is a catalyst for positive change across the U.S. healthcare system."

The high cost of insulin has gotten attention in Washington, D.C., with Eli Lilly and other insulin makers Sanofi and Novo Nordisk facing congressional inquiries. Sens Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Whyden, D-Ore., released a joint statement saying the price of Humalog has increased from $35 in 2001 to $234 in 2015, a 585 percent increase.

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"The substantial increase in the price of insulin has caused significant concern among patients and Congress," the senators said.

Eli Lilly will continue selling the full-priced Humalog version.

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